Frankie Edgar is fighting Jose Aldo at UFC 200 for the Interim UFC Featherweight Championship, a rematch of their fight for the title proper back in February of 2013.
Edgar, the former UFC Lightweight Champion, has a ton of big fight experience, and he’s gotten better as a 145 lb. fighter in the time since that first fight. To that end, he believes he’s going to take Aldo out on July 9.
“I definitely think if I touch him and string my punches together, put that pressure on him I’m going to make him wilt and I’m going to put him away,” Edgar said in an interview with FoxSports.com. “I want to go out there and prove a point every time. I try to go out there and put on great performances and championship worthy performances and that’s what’s going to happen with Aldo.
“…I’ve got Jose on my mind 24/7 now. He’s the most dominant featherweight that we’ve ever had. He stumbled his last fight but he’s still dangerous. I know he wants to get back at Conor and I know I want a chance at Conor as well so I’m definitely excited for this fight. It was a close [first] fight, a lot of people feel I may have won or it was super close and just to have a chance at redemption is always a good thing.”
Edgar thinks Aldo might be off his game and facing too much pressure and doubt after the 13-second loss to Conor McGregor in December, and thinks it’s his time to take over that top spot.
“He could be second guessing himself,” Edgar said about Aldo. “Conor threw one punch and it’s over in 13 seconds, that’s a tough pill to swallow and we’ve got a lot of pride as competitors. That eats at your pride and your ego. He’s going to have to deal with all these emotions leading up to this. He didn’t lose for 10 years, he’s a winner and I’m sure he’ll bounce back. I’m expecting this fight to be all it’s cracked up to be.
“It’s going to be over three years at this point [since the last fight]. I’m very comfortable, I feel like I’m coming into my own more and more and I’m coming in there to finish him 100-percent. He has a lot to try and bounce back from and he’s going to have a lot of pressure on him but I feel like it’s my time right now.”
Penick’s Analysis: Edgar’s got a big opportunity in this fight to get the only other viable featherweight contender out of the way, and to avenge a loss at the same time. It’s a big spot on a big card, and though the Interim Title label isn’t entirely what he’s looking for, a win over Aldo almost assuredly makes him the only man for McGregor to face next after Nate Diaz. Then again, this is a line we’ve been repeating ad nauseum into every Edgar fight, because that title fight has seemed to be his with each win, only for the UFC to go another way. Hopefully for his sake that won’t be the case if he beats Aldo this time around.
[Frankie Edgar art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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